David Beckham’s dreams of participating at the London 2012 Olympic Games are over after Stuart Pearce omitted him from the Team GB football squad.
Beckham, an ambassador for the London 2012 bid since before it was elected to host the Olympics in 2005 – which commence in 29 days – was widely expected to be part of the 23-man squad.
However the 37-year-old has been omitted by coach Pearce, who always maintained he would select players “on merit”. Beckham, who plays for the LA Galaxy in the MLS, has not been subjected to European football since a second loan spell with AC Milan in 2010.
Ryan Giggs, his former Manchester United team-mate and Micah Richards, the Manchester City defender who refused to be placed on standby for England’s Euro 2012 squad, are also included.
Giggs’ fellow Welshman and Liverpool forward Craig Bellamy is the third and final over-age player to make Pearce’s list.
Beckham told the AP: “Everyone knows how much playing for my country has always meant to me. So I would have been honored to have been part of this unique Team GB squad.”
“Naturally I am very disappointed, but there will be no bigger supporter of the team than me.”
Only earlier this month, Beckham told ITV1′s This Morning programme: “I’d love to play, I’m very proud to have played for my country 115 times and obviously been captain of the country for quite a few games and quite a few years, so yeah, I’d love to be involved, but we’ll see.”
“I’m gonna be here no matter what. I’ve been an ambassador for the Olympics and the Olympic bid since we got it back in Singapore, and it’s something I’ve been very proud to be a part of. Being part of Seb [Coe]‘s team that has bought this amazing event to the End End of London where I’m from, I’m very proud of that.”
By Samuel Luckhurst/ The Huffington Post UK